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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Craft Fairs: Tips, Checklists, and Suggestions

Mind you, these tips, checklists, and suggestions aren't coming from me, but I'm rounding up some of the more useful information that I've come across lately.

I've had craft fairs/shows on my mind lately.  I've mentioned before that my husband is returning to school in the fall.  I'm really excited for him to get started on his graduate studies, but I'm a little less enthusiastic about the student budget we'll be living on.

We still don't know how much he'll be able to work when school starts, or if he'll be able to work at all.  I'll continue supplementing our income, but may have to find additional work also.

I've contemplated expanding my etsy shop, but I don't love running to the post office with the boys, and stressing over filling orders is less than enjoyable.  Craft fairs, while filled with work, would eliminate trips to the post office, and deadlines (except for the craft fair dates of course), but are they profitable?

I looked into a local Harvest Festival that is going to be held mid September (pretty soon), there will be craft vendors, but other events as well.  I figure that could be good or bad for business.  The booth rental is fairly steep ($125), and I want to make sure that I would at least break even.  I've also considered local artisan's markets.  There are a couple in the area, but dedicating every Saturday (and finding a babysitter every Saturday) would be difficult at this stage. Perhaps next summer when Miles is a bit older. an effort to make some plans and decisions, I've scoured the web looking for craft fair related resources.  Here are a few that I've found:

Mermaids Closet: Craft Show Tips-All You Need To Know

Indie Fixx / Craft Show Checklist: what to bring with you

Breaking into the craft fair circuit

How-To: Price Your Handcrafted Goods

Spunky Junky: Top 10 tips for selling your stuff at local market

Sunny Vanilla: Craft Fair Do's: A Preparation Guide

Carosello: Craft Show Tips and Tricks

I'd love to hear about your Craft fair/show experiences.  Have you participated in any?  Were they profitable?  What were the booth fees? How did you find out about them?  

The craft bazaar that I vend at is becoming more and more profitable.  After a year of selling, I think that I'm starting to figure out which items I can make the most profit on, and which items I can tolerate mass producing.  It's been a good learning experience, but not a huge money maker. I figure that if I'm going to participate in any craft fairs this year I need to get down to business, figure out displays, packaging, how to accept credit cards, etc.




slaeng said...

i don't have craft fair experience, but there's a great little device called "square" that is a mini-credit card swiper that you can attach to your iPhone or Android... And the little swiper thingy is free! There's a flat % charged per purchase (around 2%, maybe?)and the vendors that the famers' market i go to say that it's totally worth the lost $$ because that many people walk away without a purchase. I also recently found out you can register for a "Square" account w/out and iPhone or Android, you'd just need to type in the credit card numbers on your computer. Hope that helps!

Emily said...

I've only done one craft fair and it was in a friend's yard, so there was no fee. I didn't sell anything but had a fun time being outside and hanging out with friends. We were at Home Depot the other week though and the hot dog people have a cool credit card swipey thingy which I think would be totally useful (and would encourage me to buy more since I rarely have cash). I'm glad the boutique selling is going well! Jessica posted about her craft fair experience: and tips for boutique selling: which might be helpful?